Sri Lanka in England 2014

Battle with England seamers pivotal, says Adams

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

June 8, 2014

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Sri Lanka's batting consultant Chris Adams gives some advice to Dinesh Chandimal, Essex v Sri Lankans, Tour match, Chelmsford, May 13, 2014
Chris Adams: "England have the edge on their seam attack and Sri Lanka with their batting. Whoever wins that contest will come out victors" © Getty Images
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Chris Adams, the consultant to the Sri Lanka team, has said the key to Sri Lanka winning a Test series in England for the first time will be for their experienced batsmen to come out on top against England's seamers. Sri Lanka have won Tests in England but the closest they have come to winning a series was a 1-1 draw during the the three-match series in 2006.

"One of the big challenges would be the conditions particularly at Lord's," Adams said. "If as expected England get what they request which should be a grassy pitch, the ball would no doubt move around a little bit especially if there are overhead conditions."

With Graeme Swann having retired, Adams knows what would give Sri Lanka a big advantage. "If the pitch takes spin at any stage, then clearly Sri Lanka will be favourites, particularly with Rangana [Herath] his confidence is very high and he could well be the difference between the two sides."

England are rebuilding from a hiding in the Ashes in Australia, and Adams identified another weak link for Sri Lanka to target. "[Stuart] Broad and [James] Anderson are proven performers,but the other seamers will be inexperienced at this level. There are areas on which we can capitalise on. If we can bat well, hopefully win the toss and get runs on the board, that would certainly set up the Test series and they could play into our hands.

"It won't be easy for Sri Lanka. From the two sides, without a doubt the batting is more settled for Sri Lanka who are more talented and proven at this level. It's possibly fair to say that England have the edge on their seam attack and Sri Lanka with their batting. That's the main contest. Whoever wins that contest will come out victors in the series. The confidence will be certainly high on the Sri Lankan camp going into the Test matches."

Sri Lanka had begun their tour with matches in Ireland in early May, which Adams said was a great way to tune-up for English conditions. "The preparation for this tour has been exceptional. I had a concern about the Ireland leg. Ireland are a good team and, in their conditions, difficult to play. On hindsight it was a brilliant thing for the team to do to get out there and experience probably the most extreme conditions - colder, windy and very unpleasant. To get through that,for a lot of the younger players especially, and then to come to England and go through the run of county games to the first ODI was terrific."

Adams was hired soon after Sri Lanka's then head coach Paul Farbrace had taken up the post of England assistant coach in April. Adams had worked with England coach Peter Moores at Sussex as he captained the side coached by Moores. As a result, Adams has gained first-hand knowledge of exactly how Moores thinks and works, something which could prove to be useful for Sri Lanka.

"Where I come into the equation is that with Paul Farbrace, Sri Lanka had an excellent insight into England, English conditions, wickets, the Duke ball etc," Adams said. "Every country will have their existing plans and how they look to win games of cricket against every opposition. But to have direct knowledge of the English players, be it how to get them out or how to deal with the deliveries they are going to bowl and also the mentality and approach, that's where I come in.

"The players will always play a major part in any competition but I feel confident and comfortable that I have played my part in the ODI series. A lot of what I was able to assist and support Marvan [Atapattu, the head coach] with was implemented and we had some success. I am very good at reading the game and that's benefited Marvan and the team. I have been able to talk of my vision of what to play, when to play and how to play and what's the next step.

"Sanath [Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka's chief selector] was very forthright that I get involved and speak when I thought it was right which I did. Marvan has given me an open floor at any stage to talk to the team collectively or individually. I am really pleased the way it has worked as the balance has been excellent. The next two and a half weeks will define the tour."

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Posted by rajcan on (June 9, 2014, 15:24 GMT)

Mahela's failure against pace and swing continues. Could anyone tell me in a series in UK or Australia, has ever Mahela scored consistently. Even in a first class match on yesterday he couldn't get double figure.

Batting is not all about technic and foot movement, it is also about hand and eye coordination. Chris Gayle does not have good technics or great foot movement, but has very good hand eye coordination which makes him dangerous batsman,

Upul Tharanaga is similar, doesn't poses great foot work, but does have great hand eye coordination that's why he was able to score more centuries and more runs than Mahlea in the same amount of matches both played, and Upul had scored centuries outside of sub-continent.

SL selectors is still looking for openers but contentiously marginalizing Upul, now I start to wonder, is it purely based on talent or some other influences making him to be the second or even last choice for selection.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (June 9, 2014, 10:34 GMT)

Thanks for being part of our team. Good to see SLC has made some good decisions. I hope Sri Lankan faster bowlers may not get more injuries. That's awful!

Posted by CricPissu on (June 9, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

SL have done well so far in this tour. They have acclimatized pretty well. I have this strange feeling that SL has a good chance to record a series win in England this time around. They did not lose any tournament in ENG this series. Hope that stays till the end. Go Lanka go...Era okata era

Posted by   on (June 9, 2014, 9:21 GMT)

Definitely Chris ,your support to the team should be commended. SLC has made a fine choice in you who has first hand information on Moores & his system of operation. Jayasuriya has given the right instructions & he seems to be right on top of Sri Lankan cricket at present ,credit to him.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2014, 7:39 GMT)

If the Lords pitch get a grassy one Sri Lanka do have some quality seam bowlers like Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga ,welagedara to capitalize and pose a real threat to England batsmen. Their stratergy can backfire them.

Posted by pandian_ikku on (June 9, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

Too bad Suranga Lakmal is not fit for the Tests.

Posted by   on (June 9, 2014, 5:56 GMT)

this time sri lanka is well prepared than in previous tours.and also they have the right combination of seniors and youngsters, they have talent and experiance.therefore wat ever said and done at the end of the day sri lanka is going to win their 1st test series in england soil this time.come on lions u can do it.

Posted by ksquared on (June 9, 2014, 5:45 GMT)

@David Filcher actually SL have done quite well in English conditions on this tour barring that debacle at Old Trafford the bowlers as well as the batsman have done well. Even in the last tour SL played well except for that last day of the first test where they were bowled out for 80 odd.

Posted by markatnotts on (June 8, 2014, 20:07 GMT)

If the Lords pitch has grass on it, it invariably means it will just get easier to bat on as the game goes on and won't 'age' enough to assist spin. If it is hot and sunny for 5 days don't expect a result!

Posted by KandhaVsKendha on (June 8, 2014, 19:02 GMT)

SL need an experienced OPENER likeTharanga, who can handles seam & play long innings.Tharanga's current form is shown in recent scores of 168, 19, 23, 10,34,24, 149,0,116, 30,0,36, 77 (686 Runs from 13 innings) BATTING AVERAGE OF 52.76 in recent Domestic Premier Division Matches.!

This guy was DROPPED just 6 ODIs after making the SL RECORD in batting CONSISTENCY: 2nd FASTEST to Achieve 5000 Runs (from 157 ODIs, just 5 ODIs behind Marvan). Who needs more proof for behind the seen CALAMITY in SL Cricket ?

Despite scoring 5000+ runs in ODIs, Tharanga is the ONLY batsmen in the World who had been given JUST 15 TEST Matches (713 Runs -165 HS - Average 28.52) Including 52 Vs Eng @Lords, 34 , 46 Vs Eng @ Nottingham, 33 , 24 Vs NZ @ Christchurch, 72 Vs Pak @ Colombo, 165 , 71* Vs Bang @ Bogra, 47 Vs India @ Ahmedabad

With a Batting Average of 52.76 in most recent premier division matches, Tharanga should have been included in the TEST squad. No other OPENER in SL who CAN MATCH his record.!

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